West Seneca Town Board Meeting Minutes 10/15/2007
Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Absent - None
Supervisor Clark read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Juanita Negron.
12-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
12-B LEGAL NOTICES
1. Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A REZONING FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3606 SENECA STREET, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 155, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM R-65 TO C-1, FOR A BARBER SHOP” in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed. (Anthony Scaccia)
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to open the public hearing.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan noted that the Planning Board recommended approval of this rezoning request.
Anthony Scaccia, 1594 Lakeview Road, Lakeview, stated that he was purchasing 3606 Seneca Street and would like to have it rezoned to C-1 to operate his barber shop.
Mr. Greenan noted that the size of the property was less than 10,000 square feet, but to be a conforming lot in a C-1 zoning district it would have to be at least 10,000 square feet. If the Town Board approved the rezoning, Mr. Scaccia would also need a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the size of the lot.
Councilman Bove stated that Anthony Scaccia and his father were well known and well respected businessmen. This location at 3606 Seneca Street was a vacant building and Mr. Scaccia would be changing the front of the structure to make it more appealing. The barber shop would be a quiet business with no heavy machinery, no storage of equipment, and no odor. Councilman Bove welcomed the barber shop to West Seneca and thought it would fit in well with the Comprehensive Plan as part of the town center.
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to close the public hearing.
12-B LEGAL NOTICES
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve the request for a rezoning for property located at 3606 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 155, changing its classification from R-65 to C-1, for a barber shop.
12-C TABLED ITEMS
Councilman Graber re Agreement with Level 3
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to enter into a three-year agreement with Level 3 Communications to continue as the town’s provider for telephone services.
On the question, Councilman Bove stated that the Broadview phone lines could be serviced by Verizon at less cost and without a written contract. Verizon could also provide FIOS service that would give a higher speed Internet service for less. The Youth Bureau and Police Department did not have FIOS and were interested in the faster Internet service. Councilman Bove wanted to take these two items out of the contract.
Councilman Graber responded that the Broadview lines were not part of the contract with Level 3, and they did not provide phone services to the remote locations. That service was provided by Broadview Network, a separate entity from Level 3. Councilman Graber was not opposed to having the Broadview lines provided by Verizon. FIOS service also was not provided by Level 3, and he would look into who the provider was for the Police Department and Youth Bureau. Councilman Graber stated that his motion was only for the contract with Level 3.
Councilman Bove suggested that they also vote to put the Broadview phone lines and FIOS service under Verizon.
Councilman Osmanski agreed with the Broadview phone lines going with Verizon, but he was not sure about the FIOS.
Councilman Graber stated that Verizon currently provided FIOS to the Town of West Seneca and it was then networked to various locations. The Youth Bureau and Police Department were separate entities and he would have to find out who was providing their service.
Councilman Bove stated that in both cases FIOS was more expensive than with Verizon.
Councilman Graber agreed but stated that they had entered into the original agreement in September 2000 with Adelphia Business Solutions, it was renewed in December 2003, and the present service agreement expired in December 2006. At that time, the Town Board decided to see what was available and what Verizon would provide and at what cost. The actual dial tone price Level 3 (TelCove) was offering was lower than the price in 2000. The original cost was about $12 per month, per line, as opposed to Verizon’s cost of $16 per month, per line. The recent bid from TelCove was $11.68 per month, per line and Verizon was $38.50 per month, per line.
1. Town Engineer re Gas Light Conversion Project, final change order & acceptance
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve final change order #3 for Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., 85 Northpointe Pkwy., Suite 8, Amherst, NY 14228 for a net addition of $20,507.50 and accept the Gas Light Conversion Project, Job No. G-0604, at a final contract amount of $827,568.50.
2. Town Engineer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Engineering Department:
Alp Steel Corp. (materials for pump station #5) $3470.00
3. Highway Supt. re Title change for Timothy Riedy to Highway Heavy Motor Equipment Operator
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to terminate Timothy Riedy as Highway Motor Equipment Operator and appoint Timothy Riedy as Highway Heavy Motor Equipment Operator, Group 5, Step 5, at a rate of $22.85 per hour effective October 15, 2007 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
4. Highway Supt. re Budgetary transfer request
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve the budgetary transfer request of $7271.99 from Repairs & Maintenance Acct. #01.7110.0445 to Repairs & Maintenance Acct. #01.7181.0445 for repairs to spray pool and chemicals.
5. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Highway Department:
Chudy Paper Co., Inc. (janitorial supplies) $1900.73
6. Chief Gehen re Bid date for one unmarked police vehicle
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to set a bid date of November 5, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on one (1) unmarked police vehicle.
7. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Det. Caruana at Fire Investigator, Level I training course
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize Detective Robert Caruana to attend the Fire Investigator, Level I training course December 3 – 7, 2007 in Montour Falls, New York, at a total cost not to exceed $375.
8. Chief Gehen re Status change for Senior Clerk Melissa Hender to part-time seasonal
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to change the status of Senior Clerk Melissa A. Hender from part-time to part-time seasonal effective October 15, 2007 through February 15, 2008 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
9. Recreation Director re Appointment of Taylor Whalen as part-time lifeguard
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to appoint Taylor Whalen as part-time lifeguard at a rate of $7.50 per hour effective October 1, 2007 through May 31, 2008 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
10. Recreation Director re Appointment of C. Caruana & R. Webber as part-time lifeguards
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to appoint Caitlin Caruana and Rachel Webber as part-time lifeguards at a rate of $7.50 per hour effective September 17, 2007 through May 31, 2008 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
STATUS OF SOCCER ASSOCIATION DEBT
Frank Gugino, 45 Parkside Drive, questioned who was responsible to pay the arrears owed to the town by the soccer association and how the Town Board could have let the soccer association be delinquent for so much and for so long. Mr. Gugino understood that the Town Board could not legally ignore or arbitrarily forgive any debts incurred by the town with taxpayers’ money, and he questioned how they would go about filing suit against the soccer association and its officers to collect the debt.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan stated that some of the board members were working with the soccer association going into this season and changing the way they made their annual payments so they went directly to the town. He understood that the soccer association was going to come up with some methodology in which they would set aside a fund as payment towards the arrears. Mr. Greenan was not aware of the status of those negotiations.
Supervisor Clark asked that the Town Attorney’s office find out the status of the negotiations with the soccer association and report back. He understood there were substantial dedicated revenues received last year.
OUTDOOR FIRE PITS
Thomas McKenna, 58 Cedar Ridge Drive, referred to the outdoor back yard fire pits and noted a number of other municipalities that had banned their use. He commented on the problem with smoke from the fire pits infiltrating neighbors’ homes and thought this was a growing problem. Mr. McKenna suggested that the Town Board look into banning the use of outdoor fire pits.
Asst. Chief Daniel Denz stated that the number of complaints on outdoor fire pits had increased and the police officers did respond to the complaints and direct people to put the fire out.
Mr. McKenna stated that the police officers did a good job at calming situations down and keeping peace in the neighborhoods, but they needed an ordinance with some teeth so they could effectively enforce the law.
Supervisor Clark directed the Town Attorney’s office to research this issue with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other municipalities.
STATUS OF AMENDMENTS TO NOISE ORDINANCE
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, stated that a few months ago there were discussions about holding a meeting to discuss the noise ordinance. She questioned if the Town Board was ready to act on this issue.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan responded that his office had completed their research on this issue and the Town Board could schedule a public hearing for the November meeting if they chose to do so.
DUMPSTER ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, questioned how long a dumpster was permitted to sit in front of a residence.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski responded that there was no time specification for having a dumpster as long as the project was continuing.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
DUMPSTER ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (continued)
Ms. Carpenter noted that a dumpster had been sitting at the burned house on Flattery’s property for some time and it was full. She asked that Mr. Czuprynski look into this.
Mr. Czuprynski responded that he had been talking to Flattery’s about the dumpster and it would be removed in the next week.
NATURAL GAS CONSULTANT
David Monolopolus, 97 Lexington Green, questioned the status of Councilman Graber’s research concerning a natural gas consultant.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan responded that the next step was to put out a request for proposals to various companies. The existing contract could then be terminated and replaced with another contract.
Karen Lucachick, 61 Greenmeadow Drive, questioned how bids were put out by the town.
Supervisor Clark responded that bid dates were set and specifications were issued for material items. The bid date was published and bids were received by the town and then opened at a specific date and time. After the bids were opened, they were tabulated and made public, and then presented to the Town Board for approval.
Councilman Osmanski advised that requests for proposals were used for services like the natural gas marketer or a telephone service.
Supervisor Clark further stated that the department head was responsible to make sure the request was widely circulated among those likely to submit a proposal and they sometimes also placed notices in the newspaper.
Mrs. Lucachick questioned how Highway Department equipment and police vehicles were handled.
Councilman Osmanski responded that it would depend on what the vehicle or equipment was. Sometimes some highly specialized equipment might only have a couple of sources, so Highway Supt. Patrick Finnegan would call the provider and fax them the notice and specifications. Police vehicles were often purchased under the New York State contract, but the town has often been able to negotiate locally for a lower price.
Supervisor Clark stated that all formal bids were published in the West Seneca Bee and business people regularly looked for official notices for an opportunity to bid.
Councilman Graber stated that there were a number of natural gas brokers that were approved by National Fuel Gas and governed by the Public Service Commission. He noted that the residents could also choose a natural gas provider and select a fixed or variable rate, but he was more inclined to choose the fixed rate for the town. The town used the same amount of natural gas as 110 homes in West Seneca, so they were not a higher user and could not get a real good price. However, the West Seneca schools were involved with a cooperative and Comptroller Charles Koller had been talking with them. With more volume they could get a better price.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
PURCHASE REQUIRING TOWN BOARD APPROVAL
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $1717.76 to Goodyear Auto Service for snow tires for police vehicles.
PUBLIC HEARING ON AMENDMENTS TO TRAFFIC ORDINANCE
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to schedule a public hearing for November 19, 2007 at 7:30 P.M. to consider an amendment to the ordinance of the Town of West Seneca regulating vehicles and traffic as follows:
Addition to §115-5A Stop Intersections:
Addition to §115-9A Parking Prohibited in Designated Locations:
VERIZON TELEVISION SERVICE
Councilman Graber stated that on October 5th he and Town Attorney Timothy Greenan met with Maureen Close, Community Relations Director at Verizon, and Denise Riedy, Verizon Franchise Manager, to discuss Verizon’s intention to provide television services to those that are fiber enabled in the Town of West Seneca by mid 2008. Presently the Town of West Seneca was 63 percent fiber enabled and they hoped to be 85 percent fiber enabled by the end of next year. If the town entered into a franchise agreement with Verizon, they would be mandated by law to have 100 percent of the town fiber enabled within five years of the franchise agreement approval. Anyone in the town would then be able to choose Verizon for their television service or stay with Time Warner, a satellite company, or nothing. There were 60 franchise agreements currently in New York State, predominantly in the New York metropolitan area, Westchester County and Long Island. Other than that, West Seneca, Orchard Park, and Hamburg were the first towns in New York State that would have television provided by Verizon. Councilman Graber noted that Verizon had spent over $10 million dollars in West Seneca to date and he welcomed this competition with hopes that it would lower the cost of television service for the residents. Verizon would provide the same 5 percent franchise fee to the town that Time Warner did.
Councilman Bove commented that television service from Verizon was a great opportunity for the people of West Seneca. When there were choices and competition the residents would benefit and she was looking forward to this technology coming to town.
MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR WILLIAM GEARY
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to grant a military leave of absence to William Geary from his position as laborer in the Buildings & Grounds Department effective October 15 – 19, 2007 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
TERMINATION OF ERIK FINBAR AS PRINCIPAL CLERK
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to terminate Erik Finbar as Principal Clerk Provisional effective October 12, 2007 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
APPOINTMENT OF ERIK FINBAR AS REAL PROPERTY APPRAISER TECHNICIAN
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to appoint Erik Finbar as Real Property Appraiser Technician Provisional, Group 3, Step 1, effective October 15, 2007 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FROM NATURAL GAS SUPPLIERS
Councilman Bove commented on the natural gas supplier issue and proposed that requests for proposal be initiated so that a natural gas supplier could be selected by the December 2007 Town Board meeting.
Motion by Councilman Bove, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to solicit requests for proposals from natural gas suppliers for the town with the intent of selecting a natural gas supplier at the December 2007 Town Board meeting.
AMENDMENT TO TRAFFIC ORDINANCE CONCERNING TRUCK EXCLUSIONS
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski requested that the public hearing scheduled earlier at this meeting for amendments to the Traffic Ordinance also address an amendment to Article VI, §115.15 Truck Exclusions.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan stated that this amendment could be added to the publication for the public hearing and he would work on the wording for the amendment.
TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE TAKING PASSPORT PICTURES
Town Clerk Patricia DePasquale noted that along with processing passport applications, her office now had the ability to take passport pictures.
BROADVIEW PHONE LINES SWITCHED TO VERIZON
Motion by Councilman Bove, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to have the Broadview telephone lines brought back to Verizon as soon as practical.
Councilman Bove also suggested that FIOS service be switched to Verizon at this time.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
BROADVIEW PHONE LINES SWITCHED TO VERIZON (continued)
Councilman Graber preferred to wait with the FIOS service because he thought the information received from Kevin Schnirel was erroneous. Mr. Schnirel had told him that the town would save $10,000, but there was actually no savings. He further said he could provide the town’s primary service for $521, but the service agreement showed $880. Mr. Schnirel also did not return Councilman Graber’s phone call when he asked where these figures came from. Councilman Graber wanted to do some more research before acting on the FIOS service.
Councilman Bove responded that the information from Kevin Schnirel was not erroneous. She had attempted to contact Level 3 for over a month and they would not return her phone calls. Councilman Bove then checked with Verizon to see what they could provide. Mr. Schnirel contacted Supervisor Clark’s office and asked for a meeting to explain what they could provide, but instead of setting up a meeting, he was given invoices for him to figure out for himself. Councilman Bove met with Verizon on two occasions and they tried to go through the invoices to get an idea of how the town’s phone service was working and put together a proposal as best they could. Verizon was not able to save the town money, but they did not recognize that the point-to-point service was brought to the town by Level 3 and it included the FIOS for the Town Hall, but from the Town Hall to the remote locations it needed a point-to-point service. This was misunderstood and was not done intentionally.
Councilman Graber noted that the letter from Kevin Schnirel did not show that he doesn’t work for Verizon. The letterhead was Verizon, but he worked for Network Task Group.
Councilman Bove responded that Network Task Group was a reseller for Verizon.
Councilman Graber wanted time to research the FIOS issue and would be talking to Steve Amoia and Jim Manley for more information.
DESIGNATION OF HALLOWEEN
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to designate Halloween night, October 31st, between 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. as the time for children to go door-to-door for trick-or-treat.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC